Tag Archives: sewi

Dear Board of Trustees

I know Sewi is passionate about divesting in Raytheon. However, if we divest, we will lose an opportunity to be part of the company that created this:

SarcosRaytheon’s XOS Exoskeleton

Which is just one more step towards this:

The Iron Man Mark III Armor

So please, when thinking about the future of Wesleyan investment, do we want to really deny money to the development of weapons that can defeat the Mandarin?

(Via Gizmodo)

Rally for Divestment of Weapons Contractors

Unless you have been living in a bubble that isn’t the Wesleyan one, you’ve heard about the fight for Wesleyan’s divestment from weapons contractors like Raytheon and General Dynamics. The Board of Trustees has a meeting in May at which they could choose to divest. Come join other community members in demanding divestment on Thursday, May 8th.

Check out the facebook event for more background info and a schedule, or see SEWI’s website to read their divestment proposal, or sign their online petition if you haven’t already.
What: Rally for Divestment
When: Thursday, May 8th at 1 pm
Where: Usdan Courtyard

Divestment meetings on Tuesday, Thursday

Preparatory forum for trustee meeting
Open to the entire campus and hosted by SEWI and the WSA, the topics covered will include the Investment Office’s presentation on Wesleyan’s investments, SEWI’s weapons divestment campaign thus far, and socially responsible investing.

Date: Tuesday, March 25
Time: 4:15 PM
Location: Usdan 108

Trustee working group meeting on divestment
Open to the entire campus as observers, with limited seats open for participation. Please come to the preparatory meeting on Tuesday if you would like to participate.

Date: Thursday, March 27
Time: 4:30 PM
Location: Woodhead Lounge (in Exley)

(Times for the Thursday meeting updated by Mad)

Statewide Anti-War Student Conference & Rally

SEWI is hosting the Statewide Anti-War Student Conference and Rally in Exley early next month:

Students from across the state will be converging on Wesleyan University for the first C[onnecticut] O[pposes the] W[ar] Student Conference. The purpose of the conference is to train students with the tools they need to help End the War in Iraq and Bring the Troops Home.

The conference will contain a keynote speaker, followed by workshops dealing with issues ranging from Organizing 101 (i.e. running an effective meeting, media outreach, how to recruit new members, etc) to statewide campaigns (i.e. Campus Divestment, Truth in Recruitment, the Iraq Refugee Crisis, Iraq Veterans Against the War).

After the workshops are completed there will be a rally and march to cap a wonderful day of movement building.

The conference is the beginning of a vibrant student lead antiwar movement in CT. Student groups from dozens of colleges and high schools will come together for this historic event.

Date: Saturday, Apr. 12
Time: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: Exley

(Thanks, Spazeboy!)

Divestiture Debate Makes Headlines

Daniela Altimari of The Hartford Courant reports on the divestiture debate:

Late last month, after a lengthy and impassioned debate, the Wesleyan Student Assembly approved a resolution denouncing such investments. Wesleyan’s portfolio includes holdings in Raytheon and General Dynamics.

To junior Erik Rosenberg, a member of Students For Ending the War in Iraq, it boils down to one question: “Can we really be comfortable with educating ourselves with money that was made through violence?”

But other students expressed concern about the financial ramifications of divestiture, a concern Rosenberg dismissed.

Others say the war is a complicated issue and divestment would be a symbolic move, at best. “Divestment is such a blunt tool,” said Jon Golden, a junior and student assembly representative from suburban Philadelphia.

Golden says he doesn’t support the war and didn’t vote for President Bush. “I think the war has been a foreign policy debacle,” he said. “But some people think if you oppose the war, if you oppose the Bush administration, then divestment is the answer. I think there is a more nuanced argument to be made.”

College activists have used divestment in the past as a mechanism to force social change. The most notable example is the anti-apartheid movement that began in the late 1970s. Hundreds of colleges and universities, including Wesleyan, unloaded stock in companies that did business with the apartheid government in South Africa.

Since then, Wesleyan has instituted a number of changes to hold corporations accountable and make sure the university’s voice is heard, said Justin Harmon, vice president for public affairs.

“Our approach has been to try and engage companies if there are issues in terms of their corporate behavior … that are of concern to the campus community,” Harmon said. “There is a sense that engagement and dialogue could be a constructive mechanism and potentially more powerful than the symbolic act of divestiture.”

Administrators say they are unsure of how many students back divestiture. A rally last week drew about 30 supporters, though Rosenberg said more than 600 signed a petition supporting the idea.

“Next year, we’re going to try to get the larger Wesleyan community involved,” he said. “We definitely have a long way to go.”

Rosenberg said he has yet to broach the issue with incoming President Michael Roth, but he believes Roth will be supportive. “I think he really does see students as agents of change, not just in our own community but in the national community and international community,” he said.

After all, Roth is no stranger to such activism: In 1977, as a student at Wesleyan, he slept in the president’s office, according to an article by Lindsay Ceballos in the May 7 edition of the Wesleyan Argus. He was protesting the university’s investment in companies that did business with South Africa.